As we had a few extra days off this weekend we thought we'd get out fishing for a change... would be rude not to really!
Rob, Shaun and myself had come up with a plan of attack to kick off our sea fishing for the year - Good Friday we set out on our maiden voyage in a rib we'd bought over the winter. The sun may have been shining but that wind was still very cold. We set out from Caernarfon full of anticipation and a few nerves, but once we'd arranged ourselves in the boat and crossed the straights we felt more settled and ready to enjoy the day ahead. This started pretty much as soon as we crossed the straights, not by a fish we caught, but as in many a days fishing, by what we saw. As we pulled up onto a small shingle beach all in need of a wee (must have been the excitment!) an Osprey took off right in front of us, what a sight and a lovely way to start the day. We fished all of the morning and early afternoon using heavy jigs in the clearer water, mostly the Savage sandeels, hoping for an early Bass, but we had no joy with that. As it got later in the afternoon we all started to get a bit despirate for a fish to christen the boat, so out came the bait (lug worm and Mackerel) and we anchored up. After just a few casts we were all into fish, pulling up whiting and codling, sometimes two at a time, all great fun on our small light spinning tackle. Shaun had a good little scrap from a Dog fish and then Rob pulled out the first Mackerel of the year - that was an early unexpected suprise and finished the trip off nicely.
It was a race to close the shop up as fast as possible on the Saturday night, and we were off again - this time in camper van convoy, and with two full days of fishing ahead we were chomping at the bit to set off down the A55. After our fish and chip supper there wasn't too much time for fishing on the Saturday evening, but the lads couldn't resist having a chuck with a few lures once we'd arrived at camp and saw that water. Nothing was caught and the conclusion was the water was still a little murky here at camp, so not worth an early morning outting the next day. The following two days were spent walking, climbing and of course fishing a-plenty. Although Shaun did have a Bass follow his Slug-go and see a shoal of good sized Bass, none were caught unfortunately - we must remember it's still a little early for large numbers of these fish to be about, but they are there.... So nothing on the Bass front, but on the up side we all had really good catches of Pollack (some big ones out there broke Shauns fireline, don't mention this, he's very senstive about it), Coal fish, more early Mackerel and a few Wrasse all on lures and light gear... a fantastic start to the summer sea fishing fun. Yes, it has begun! We were just expecting a few Pollack maybe but to have had this many species in just a few outings has certainly wet our appitite for the season ahead... all we need now is that Bass... shouldn't be too long now!
I'm obviously still just warming up and did nothing for 'girl power' this weekend, the fish of the weekend has to be between Shauns 3 1/2 lb Coal fish and Robs 3 1/2 lb Wrasse, both gorgeous fish. Oh, I forgot I did catch a gorgeous fish myself actually, just because it was the size of my palm doesn't make it any less gorgeous! It was a Turbot and I caught it on a small jig head and rubber worm bouncing it along the sandy part of the beach, how he got the hook in his mouth I'll never know, but it came out easy enough and he swam off to grow bigger, maybe I'll catch him again next year.
Sorry, no pictures of the early Mackerel, Rob has them filleted and in the pan before you can make another cast! You'll just have to take my word for it, they are there, and not out of casting range either. Find a deep rock mark off Anglesey or the Lleyn and give it a go. Another sure sign of summer fish coming in was the fantastic sight we saw when leaving the coastal paths on monday evening. The sea was flat calm, you couldn't tell where the horizon was, it was kind of spooky, the only wake we could see was from 4 groups of Porpoise or Dolphin (couldn't quite tell from a distance) working their way through the bay, the perfect end to a great weekend.